Positive Quotes

Best Richard Siken Quotes 2021

  • I sleep. I dream. I make up things that I would never say. I say them very quietly.

    Richard Siken
  • Eventually something you love is going to be taken away. And then you will fall to the floor crying. And then, however much later, it is finally happening to you: you’re falling to the floor crying thinking, “I am falling to the floor crying,” but there’s an element of the ridiculous to it — you knew it would happen and, even worse, while you’re on the floor crying you look at the place where the wall meets the floor and you realize you didn’t paint it very well.

    Richard Siken
  • You’re trying not to tell him you love him, and you’re trying to choke down the feeling, and you’re trembling, but he reaches over and he touches you, like a prayer for which no words exist, and you feel your heart taking root in your body, like you’ve discovered something you don’t even have a name for.

    Richard Siken
  • Let me tell you what I do know: I am more than one thing, and not all of those things are good. The truth is complicated. It’s two-toned, multi-vocal, bittersweet. I used to think that if I dug deep enough to discover something sad and ugly, I’d know it was something true. Now I’m trying to dig deeper. I didn’t want to write these pages until there were no hard feelings, no sharp ones. I do not have that luxury. I am sad and angry and I want everyone to be alive again. I want more landmarks, less landmines. I want to be grateful but I’m having a hard time with it.

    Richard Siken
  • Is that too much to expect? That I would name the stars for you? That I would take you there? The splash of my tongue melting you like a sugar cube?

    Richard Siken
  • A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river                     but then he’s still left with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away                                                                         but then he’s still left with his hands.

    Richard Siken
  • You see, I take the parts that I remember and stitch them back together to make a creature that will do what I say or love me back.

    Richard Siken
  • We have not touched the stars, nor are we forgiven, which brings us back to the hero’s shoulders and the gentleness that comes, not from the absence of violence, but despite the abundance of it.

    Richard Siken
  • Sometimes you get so close to someone you end up on the other side of them.

    Richard Siken
  • He was pointing at the moon, but I was looking at his hand.

    Richard Siken
  • I don’t know where I end and the world begins. My best guess? Skin. It’s the only actual boundary between the body and the world, between a body and any other body.

    Richard Siken
  • When you have nothing to say,
    set something on fire.

    Richard Siken
  • Hello, darling. Sorry about that. Sorry about the bony elbows, sorry we lived here, sorry about the scene at the bottom of the stairwell and how I ruined everything by saying it out loud. Especially that, but I should have known. You see, I take the parts that I remember and stitch them back together to make a creature that will do what I say or love me back.

    Richard Siken
  • You play along, because you want to die for love, you always have.

    Richard Siken
  • I’m saying your name in the grocery store, I’m saying your name on the bridge at dawn. Your name like an animal covered with frost, your name like a music that’s been transposed, a suit of fur, a coat of mud, a kick in the pants, a lungful of glass, the sails in wind and the slap of waves on the hull.

    Richard Siken
  • Imagine that the world is made out of love. Now imagine that it isn’t. Imagine a story where everything goes wrong, where everyone has their back against the wall, where everyone is in pain and acting selfishly because if they don’t, they’ll die. Imagine a story, not of good against evil, but of need against need against need, where everyone is at cross-purposes and everyone is to blame.

    Richard Siken
  • You wanted happiness, I can’t blame you for that, and maybe a mouth sounds idiotic when it blathers on about joy but tell me you love this, tell me you’re not miserable.

    Richard Siken
  • Oh, the things we invent when we are scared and want to be rescued.

    Richard Siken
  • Actually, you said Love, for you, is larger than the usual romantic love. It’s like a religion. It’s terrifying. No one will ever want to sleep with you.

    Richard Siken
  • Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else.

    Richard Siken
  • All night I streched my arms across him, rivers of blood, the dark woods, singing with all my skin and bone ”Please keep him safe. Let him lay his head on my chest and we will be like sailors, swimming in the sound of it, dashed to pieces.” Makes a cathedral, him pressing against me, his lips at my neck, and yes, I do believe his mouth is heaven, his kisses falling over me like stars.

    Richard Siken
  • The way you slam your body into mine reminds me I’m alive, but monsters are always hungry, darling.

    Richard Siken
  • I wanted to be wanted and he was very beautiful, kissed with his eyes closed, and only felt good while moving. You could drown in those eyes, I said, so it’s summer, so it’s suicide, so we’re helpless in sleep and struggling at the bottom of the pool.

    Richard Siken
  • Here I am leaving you clues. I am singing now while Rome burns. We are all just trying to be holy. My applejack, my silent night, just mash your lips against me. We are all going forward. None of us are going back.

    Richard Siken
  • The narrator blames the birds. And you want to blame the birds as well. I blamed the birds for a long time. But in this story everyone is hungry, even the birds. And at this point in the story so many things have gone wrong, so many bad decisions made, that it’s a wonder anyone would want to continue reading.

    Richard Siken
  • Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later.

    Richard Siken
  • Tell me we’re dead and I’ll love you even more.

    Richard Siken
  • This is where the evening splits in half, Henry, love or death. Grab an end, pull hard, and make a wish.

    Richard Siken
  • I’m not suggesting the world is good, that life is easy, or that any of us are entitled to better. But please, isn’t this the kind of thing you talk about in somber tones, in the afternoon, with some degree of hope and maybe even a handful of strategies?

    Richard Siken
  • I’ve been rereading your story. I think it’s about me in a way that might not be flattering, but that’s okay. We dream and dream of being seen as we really are and then finally someone looks at us and sees us truly and we fail to measure up. Anyway: story received, story included. You looked at me long enough to see something mysterioso under all the gruff and bluster. Thanks. Sometimes you get so close to someone you end up on the other side of them.

    Richard Siken
  • I swear, I end up feeling empty, like you’ve taken something out of me and I have to search my body for scars.

    Richard Siken
  • Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake and dress them in warm clothes again.

    Richard Siken
  • how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple to slice into pieces. Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means we’re inconsolable. Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us. These our bodies, possessed by light. Tell me we’ll never get used to it.

    Richard Siken
  • I woke up in the morning and I didn’t want anything, didn’t do anything, couldn’t do it anyway, just lay there listening to the blood rush through me and it never made any sense, anything.

    Richard Siken
  • I’m bleeding, I’m not just making conversation.

    Richard Siken
  • This is my favorite part. It starts and ends here. The pebbles shine, the plan worked, Hansel Triumphant. Lesson number one: be sneaky and have a plan. But the stupid boy goes back, makes the rest of the story postscript and aftermath. He shouldn’t have gone back. And this is the second lesson I took from the story: when someone is trying to ditch you, kill you, never go back.

    Richard Siken
  • Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us. These, our bodies, possessed by light. Tell me we’ll never get used to it.

    Richard Siken
  • We laugh & it pits the world against us.

    Richard Siken
  • I’m battling monsters, I’m pulling you out of the burning buildings/ and you say I’ll give you anything but you never come through.

    Richard Siken
  • Vanity, in a fairy tale, will make you evil. Vanity in the real world will drive you nuts. Vanity makes you say things like “I deserved a better life than this.

    Richard Siken
  • For a while I thought I was the dragon. I guess I can tell you that now. And, for a while, I thought I was the princess, cotton candy pink, sitting there in my room, in the tower of the castle, young and beautiful and in love and waiting for you with confidence but the princess looks into her mirror and only sees the princess, while I’m out here, slogging through the mud, breathing fire, and getting stabbed to death. Okay, so I’m the dragon. Big deal. You still get to be the hero. You get magic gloves! A fish that talks! You get eyes like flashlights!

    Richard Siken
  • Wearing your clothes or standing in the shower for over an hour, pretending that this skin is your skin, these hands your hands, these shins, these soapy flanks

    Richard Siken
  • The light is no mystery, the mystery is that there is something to keep the light from passing through.

    Richard Siken
  • Here I am in a rabbit run, here I am in a valley of pine, waiting for you to find me. I could pretend I’m speaking to everyone—assume a middle distance and transcend myself—but I’m taking to you and you know it.

    Richard Siken
  • …you’re waiting because you thought it would follow, you thought there would be some logic, perhaps, something to pull it all together but here we are in the weeds again, here we are in the bowels of the thing: your world doesn’t make sense.

    Richard Siken
  • We can do anything. It’s not because our hearts are large, they’re not, it’s what we struggle with. The attempt to say Come over. Bring your friends. It’s a potluck, I’m making pork chops, I’m making those long noodles you love so much.

    Richard Siken
  • Knot the tie and go to work, unknot the tie and go to sleep. I sleep. I dream. I wake. I sing. I get out the hammer and start knocking in the wooden pegs that affix the meaning to the landscape, the inner life to the body, the names to the things. I float too much to wander, like you, in the real world. I envy it but that’s the dealio—you’re a train and I’m a trainstation and when I try to guess your trajectory I end up telling my own story.

    Richard Siken
  • A kid under a tablecloth insists he’s a ghost. A table underneath a tablecloth is, I guess, like the rest of us, only pretending to be invisible.

    Richard Siken
  • You’re falling now. You’re swimming. This is not           harmless. You are not                     breathing.

    Richard Siken
  • If you love me, Henry, you don’t love me in a way I understand.

    Richard Siken

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